If you’ve noticed that your lawn mower is running erratically, with inconsistent speeds and sudden changes in RPMs, then it may be surging. Surging is a common problem that can affect the performance and longevity of your lawn mower, and it’s essential to address it as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Let’s discuss what is surging, Tips to Fix and Prevent Lawn Mower Surging Issues.
Understanding Surging in Lawn Mowers
Before diving into the causes and solutions, let’s first understand what surging is. When a lawn mower surges, it means that the engine speed fluctuates up and down uncontrollably. It can be frustrating and can make mowing the lawn a problematic task.
A dirty air filter is one of the most common causes of surging in lawn mowers. When the air filter is clogged with dirt and debris, it restricts the airflow to the engine, causing it to surge. It is essential to clean or replace the air filter regularly to prevent this issue.
Another cause of surging in lawn mowers is a faulty carburetor. The carburetor is responsible for mixing air and fuel in the engine. If it is not functioning correctly, it can cause the engine to surge. In this case, it may be necessary to have the carburetor cleaned or replaced by a professional.
Causes of Surging in Lawn Mowers
There are several possible causes of surging in lawn mowers, and here are some of them:
Dirt and debris in the carburetor: A dirty carburetor can cause your lawn mower to surge when you are mowing the lawn. It happens because dirt and debris restrict fuel flow to the engine, which can cause the engine to run at varying speeds.
Clogged air filter: Clogged air filter can also cause surging in lawn mowers because it restricts the airflow needed for combustion.
Faulty spark plug: A faulty spark plug can also cause surging because it can prevent the engine from getting the necessary spark to ignite the fuel in the engine.
Contaminated fuel: Using low-quality or contaminated fuel can lead to clogs and other issues that can cause surging.
Malfunctioning governor: The governor controls the engine’s speed. If damaged or misaligned, it can cause surging and other performance issues.
Low-quality fuel: Using low-quality fuel can also cause surging in lawn mowers because it can damage the engine and cause it to run at an uneven speed.
Surging in lawn mowers can also be caused by a malfunctioning governor. The governor is responsible for regulating the speed of the engine, and It can cause the engine to surge if it is not functioning correctly.
If the issues persist, it may be worth having a professional inspect the governor. It may be time to take your lawn mower to a professional for a tune-up in case none of the above solutions work. A professional can diagnose and fix any underlying issues causing the surge.
Tools and Equipment Needed for Troubleshooting
For troubleshooting surging in your lawn mower, you will need the following tools:
- Carburetor cleaner
- Air filter
- Spark plug
- Socket wrench
In addition to the tools listed above, it is also recommended to have a multimeter to test the electrical components of the lawn mower. This can help identify any issues with the ignition system or battery.
The service manual for your specific lawn mower model is another piece of equipment that provides detailed instructions on troubleshooting and repairing any issues that may arise.
Step-by-Step Guide to Troubleshooting a Surging Lawn Mower
Here is a step-by-step guide to troubleshooting a surging lawn mower:
Step 1: Turn off the Lawn Mower and Allow it to Cool
Before you begin troubleshooting, your lawn mower should be turned off and cooled down to ensure safety and prevent potential accidents.
Step 2: Clean or Replace the Air Filter
The air filter filters out dust, debris, and other particles from the air before it enters the engine. If the air filter is dirty or clogged, it can cause the engine to surge or stall. Remove the air filter from the mower and clean it with compressed air or a brush. If the filter is damaged, replace it with a new one.
Step 3: Check and Replace the Spark Plug
The spark plug ignites the fuel in the engine. If the spark plug is dirty or damaged, it can cause the engine to misfire, surge, or stall. To check the spark plug, remove it from the engine and inspect it for signs of wear or damage. If the spark plug is dirty or damaged, replace it with a new one.
Step 4: Replace the Fuel Filter
If the fuel filter is clogged or dirty, it can cause the engine to surge or stall. To replace the fuel filter, locate and remove it on the fuel line. Install a new fuel filter in its place.
Step 5: Clean or Repair the Carburetor
The carburetor is responsible for mixing the fuel and air in the engine. If the carburetor is dirty or damaged, it can cause the engine to surge, stall, or run poorly. To clean the carburetor, remove it from the engine and clean it with a carburetor cleaner. If the carburetor is damaged, it may need to be replaced or repaired by a professional.
Step 6: Drain and Replace Contaminated Fuel
Contaminated fuel, such as old or stale gasoline, can cause the engine to surge or stall. Disconnect the fuel line from the engine to drain and replace contaminated fuel and drain the old fuel into a container. Refill the fuel tank with a fresh, high-quality gasoline.
Step 7: Adjust or Replace the Governor
If the governor is misadjusted or malfunctioning, it can cause the engine to surge or stall. To adjust the governor, consult your owner’s manual for instructions. If the governor is damaged, it may need to be replaced by a professional.
Step 8: Troubleshoot the Ignition System
If none of the previous steps have solved the surging issue, it may be a problem with the ignition system. This can include a faulty ignition coil, a malfunctioning safety switch, or other electrical issues. Troubleshooting the ignition system can be complex, so seeking professional help is recommended.
Suppose the surging persists after following these steps. In that case, taking the lawn mower to a professional for further inspection and repair may be necessary.
Tips for DIY Troubleshooting and Maintenance
Here are some tips for DIY troubleshooting and maintenance:
- Always read the owner’s manual before attempting repairs or maintenance on your lawn mower.
- Perform regular maintenance on your lawn mower, such as changing the oil and air filter.
- Use high-quality fuel to prevent surging in your lawn mower.
- Keep your lawn mower clean and free of dirt and debris.
Replacing the spark plug every season or after every 50 hours of use is recommended.
Inspect the blades of your lawn mower regularly. Dull or damaged blades can cause uneven cuts and damage to your lawn. You should sharpen or replace the blades at least once a year or more often if you have a large yard or frequently mow over rough terrain.
Seeking Professional Help for Surging Lawn Mowers
Attempting to fix a surging lawn mower on your own can be dangerous, especially if you need to become more familiar with the machine’s inner workings.
If you have tried all the DIY troubleshooting and maintenance tips and your lawn mower is still surging, it may be time to seek professional help. A qualified technician can diagnose and fix the issue for you.
When you take your lawn mower to a professional, they will likely perform a thorough inspection to identify the root cause of the surging. This may involve checking the air filter, spark plug, carburetor, and fuel system. Once the issue has been identified, the technician will make the necessary repairs or adjustments to get your lawn mower running smoothly again.
Surging in lawn mowers is a common issue, but it can be prevented and solved by following the proper steps. By understanding the possible causes and solutions, you can keep your lawn mower running smoothly and avoid any frustrating surging issues.
Lawn Mower Surging (FAQs)
What should I do if my lawn mower is still surging after trying DIY troubleshooting and maintenance?
Suppose your lawn mower is still surging after trying DIY troubleshooting and maintenance. In that case, it may be time to seek professional help.
How often should I replace the air filter in my lawn mower?
Replacing the air filter in your lawn mower at least once per mowing season or after every 25 hours of use is recommended.
Can wrong fuel cause a lawn mower to surge?
Yes, contaminated or lousy fuel can cause surging in a lawn mower. It is essential always to use clean and high-quality fuel.